A Million Trees

Give Green this Christmas

Give Green this Christmas

Look what Santa’s Helpers have been cooking up!  Go Green this Christmas and know you’re choosing presents that are Safe for You, Your Home, and the Planet. 

Unsafe toys should never reach store shelves

Body Burden Challenge #4 is toy safety.  Keep your kids safe this holiday season and buy a lead test at your local hardware store.  Please forward this funny video from the Consumer Union (the Non Profit publisher of Consumer Reports) to every parent you know and get the word out now.  Send the message to your local lawmakers found at the link below after you view the video.  Parents shouldn’t have to worry about the safety of the toys they are puchasing for their children.


Body Burden Challenge #3

Our family farm of my childhood is selling this week and it’s been a chance to reclaim youthful memories and create new family ties to weather the changes we are undergoing now that our parents are gone.

It’s a sentimental time for me and I decided to make body burden challenge #3 about reclaiming and reusing.  I was reminded this week of the simple joy that is found in living the life of a farmer.  I grew up with very few ‘things’ and what we had, my father was very proud to say we owned.  It’s no different than what Suze Orman preaches now really.  People first, then money, then things.  And so the wisdom of the generations continue across decades and economic class. 

I’ve found the person you just wrote off as a never do well may be a millionaire and the people you are sure are financially superior just filed bankrupcy.  So I believe there is honor in living a life of no frills, valuing people and money before things and to be debt free (or using leverged debt to increase weath but that’s another topic and another day).

During our household and tool auction this week – men and women came together to claim the new “old” things of our family.  New to them but old in age.  It reminded me of my purchase at Savers recently to replace the set of pots and pans my daughter took with her when she moved out.  They were heavy, Oneida stainless steel – worn but solid and stable.  I was thrilled to have a brand new “old” set for $18 and I consciously made a decision to reduce and reuse.

If we all decide to reduce supply and demand of manufactured goods – there will be much less carbon emissions from the manufacturing and transportation of new goods.  We will be putting less in the landfills and putting our money where our mouth is – so to speak.   We’ll be reducing the toxins we are generating and sending to the landfills – less lead, mercury, aluminum, packaging, plastics and many of the untested chemicals in the products sold.  Watch the faces of the young people you know as they watch you doing your part to protect the world they are inheriting – you will experience the joy of being a leader in your little part of the world.  That is something to feel good about.

Body burden testing – Challenge #2

I believe the most important thing I can do is try to touch people’s lives and make a difference in my world by helping someone make a change for the better in theirs.  I learned years ago that it feels a whole lot better to stand for something than nothing at all.  And I also understand that it’s impossible to help someone if they won’t help themselves.  I quit trying to do that years ago….  But even if I help absolutely noone by offering this information – I know that I tried. 

That’s the way I feel about making changes to reduce my carbon footprint.  I know that I can’t stop global warming – but at least I know that I’m one of the many that are working to make a difference.  I got my recycle book from our county government today and WOW what a tremendous job the authors have done!  They gave me an idea for challenge #2. 

I thought I’d try to combine tips  to stop adding to your individual chemical body burden and make a change that will help the planet at the same time.  What do ya think?  I know the only author that ever got away with announcing what he was going to say is Mark Twain – but I spent years presenting in the corporate world and you tell people what you’re going to say and tell them and then tell them at the end what you just said.  Forgive me.

So I’m asking everyone that reads this – if you can’t be bothered with saving the planet – maybe you can focus on protecting yourself and saving the planet will be a nice sidebar that will make the rest of us feel that you’re at least making an effort.  It’s a win win for everyone!

Top Five Ways We Can Save Ourselves While Saving the Planet  (key points from the Recyclopedia of Anoka County, MN – with embellishment from me).

1.  Buy flourescent bulbs and save big bucks in electricity (benefit for you and the planet).  It’s illegal to put flourescent bulbs in the garbage when they finally give out.  Flourescent bulbs contain mercury and must be recycled.  Contact your local services for information to safely recycle them. 

2.  In Minnesota, it’s illegal to throw mercury thermometers and thermostats in the garbage.  If a thermometer breaks contact your county waste management for information on how to protect yourself and your environment.   You can also check with state government to see if they have special instructions in the event of a mercury spill.  Just remember if you no longer want an item with mercury in your home – don’t throw it in the garbage.  In Minnesota, we’re instructed to contact our local hazardous waste facility.

3.  Dispose of any home care products that contain the following words:  Caution, Combustible, Corrosive, Danger, Flammable, Inflammable, Poison, Toxic, Warning.  DO NOT throw them in the garbage – they are Household Hazardous Material.  Instead, take them to your local Household Hazardous Waste Facility then switch to non-toxic, environmentally safe home care products (Good for You, Your Family and the Planet).  Check out the home care products I use at GetClean .  I just saw a commerical for a big brand laundry detergent (in a big red bottle wink wink) that said they are going green – incredible!  The toxic stuff in their products are some of the most dangerous.  “Your Green is Showing” is their new tagline.  Wow – get educated on this stuff… I’ve got links on my blog to look up the chemicals in your home care products.

5.  Busy parents – check your toys for lead content among other dangerous substances.  It’s in your court and it’s a fact that our government is absolutely not checking them.   Well, let me clarify – there is 1 person checking toys in Federal Government and there are no current plans to increase authority.   You can check with the Consumers Union at consumersunion.org and other web resources.   Once you know the toys are safe then talk to other parents about recycling toys by packing up the less used toys and have a toy swap with other parents.  Kids love toys whether they are shiny and new or well worn and loved.  Heck I grew up using wooden spoons as drum sticks and boxes as drums – both can be recycled.  Let’s think about reduce and reuse.  

So that’s my challenge for you today.  It requires very little of you and I feel better for trying.  Go out and make a difference in your world – it’s a brand new day tomorrow and every day. Can’t remember all of this?  Then bookmark this site and keep coming back.  Add a comment or ask a question – I’d be thrilled to know that someone is actually acting on my suggestions.  I know a lot of you are reading – let me know if you’re doing!